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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay Area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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San Jose, CA forced labor chargesIt can be challenging to finding good workers who are willing to put in the time needed on certain types of jobs. Particularly in the construction field, the work is hard and the hours are long, resulting in high turnover rates. However, cutting corners when it comes to employment practices can result in serious criminal charges. A recent case involving a Bay area contractor is an example of the potentially severe penalties you could incur as a result. 

Contractor Faces Up To 30 Years In Prison on Forced Labor Charges

A local contractor faces up to a 30-year prison sentence over charges of forced labor and employing undocumented immigrants. Over the course of a 10-day trial, jurors heard testimony regarding a Hayward contractor who had worked on major construction projects throughout the area, including a Marriott hotel in San Francisco and Silvery Towers in San Jose. The allegations centered around charges that he had hired workers who were not permitted to legally work in the United States and then subjected them to extreme job conditions in violation of California labor laws. These include: 

  • Requiring them to work 24 hour days;
  • Withholding pay;
  • Threatening to physically harm them; and
  • Threatening to turn them into immigration officials and have them deported if they did not comply with requests. 

The man actively pursued finding the workers through job advertisements he placed in newspapers in Tijuana, Mexico. Those who answered the job ad were told to cross into the U.S. at the San Ysidro port of entry and that the man would arrange for transport to a warehouse in Hayward. Many of the workers ended up living in this warehouse, with some being deprived food for days. The Hayward man was found guilty by a jury in mid-March and is now awaiting sentencing. In addition to 30 years in prison, he could also face fines up to $500,000. 

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San Jose CA criminal defense for immigrants attorneyImmigration is a hot topic across the country. While people who are “pro-wall” insist immigration laws need strengthening, activists are concerned the current administration’s policies go too far. California is one of several states that has defied recent trends regarding the capture, detainment, and deportation of people here illegally, making it one of the most well known and controversial so-called sanctuary states. However, in San Jose these policies have been under fire in the aftermath of a brutal murder allegedly committed by an undocumented homeless man. This crime and the fact that the suspect has had numerous criminal charges filed against him are causing officials to question how these types of cases are handled.  

Undocumented Homeless Man Suspect In San Jose Murder 

The brutal murder of a 59-year-old woman came as a shock to everyone who knew her in the quiet residential community where she lived. Her body was found in her home after she failed to report to work. She was pronounced dead at the scene, with numerous stab wounds to her neck and chest. 

Over the course of the police investigation, closed circuit video and other evidence was obtained, which pointed to a suspect. The suspect, a 24-year-old homeless man originally from El Salvador, is a self-confessed gang member and has been in trouble with the law numerous times, with 10 separate convictions on charges ranging from drug possession to assaulting a police officer.  

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San Jose, CA pedestrian accident defense lawyersSan Jose has experienced a rash of pedestrian accidents recently, all of which have citizens and law enforcement officials concerned. Motorists involved in these accidents may claim that the person stepped in front of their vehicle or that they did not see the pedestrian until it was too late to stop. These may be valid defenses, but guilt is often presumed in the court of public opinion and before the circumstances surrounding the case are fully revealed. In these situations, you need an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney on your side to help you avoid the potentially serious penalties you could be facing. 

Pedestrian Hit and Run Latest to Plague Bay Area

Another deadly pedestrian accident occurred in South San Jose in January. There were three other pedestrian fatalities that month, in addition to several other incidents which resulted in serious injuries. Unfortunately, in collisions with motor vehicles, the impact on pedestrians is often severe. In the South San Jose case, the driver who hit the victim slowed down but then fled the scene. 

Any time an accident occurs resulting in injuries or property damages, drivers are required to stop at the scene. Not doing so will result in criminal charges. Due to the combined efforts of law enforcement in gathering evidence and witness statements and in spreading the word among the general public and automotive repair shops, the driver is almost always apprehended. Under the California Vehicle Code, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injuries or death to another driver or a pedestrian is a felony offense which could result in an automatic jail sentence.  

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San Jose CA impersonation charges lawyerAs a child, you may have pretended to be another person, perhaps someone famous or a police officer. While this may have been a harmless way to have fun back then, as an adult, impersonating someone other than yourself can result in serious criminal penalties. As a form of fraud, a recent case of false impersonation in San Jose illustrates how it can result in both state and federal charges and why it requires a strong criminal defense.  

San Jose Man Impersonates DEA Official

Reports started surfacing in San Jose around Christmas about someone in the area attempting to impersonate a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) official. The first incident involved an actual special agent with the state Department of Transportation. She was pulled over on Christmas Eve 2018 by a man who claimed he was an officer with the DEA. When she questioned his authority and revealed her own position, the man fled the scene. The agent alerted police and informed them that he drove a Volkswagen Jetta that appeared to be equipped with police lighting. 

Since then, there have been several other incidents of drivers being stopped or signaled to pull over by a vehicle of the same description. Police were eventually able to obtain a license plate number, which led them to a 49-year-old San Jose man. As he was impersonating a federal official, actual DEA agents became involved in the case. They noticed him leaving his home in the Jetta while wearing what appeared to be a uniform, carrying a holstered weapon, with a fake DEA badge hanging around his neck. If convicted, he faces fines of up to $500,000 and up to an eight-year prison sentence. 

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San Jose CA DUI defense lawyerIn California, getting a DUI is an extremely serious matter. In addition to fines and criminal penalties, there is also the impact on your driver’s license, the increased costs, and the potential damage to your job or reputation. When considering whether you need legal help in defending yourself against these charges, it is important to consider these ramifications. The following outlines what to expect based on whether you have any prior DUIs on your driving record, along with some of the defenses our San Jose DUI defense attorneys may be able to raise in your case.  

Could You Be Facing a Jail Sentence for a DUI? 

Under California law, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater. Law enforcement officials have the authority to pull you over, detain you, and press criminal charges in the matter if they have a reasonable suspicion you are operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance. 

As drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and injuries throughout the state, California takes a strong stand against suspected DUI drivers. Penalties you face depend on whether you have previously been convicted on a DUI offense or whether anyone was injured as the result of your actions. These penalties include: 

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